The Lakers remain unsure on whether Steve Nash will return at the end of this week after persisting nerve pain in his beck has kept him sidelined for the past eight days.
But they’re adamant that the 39-year-old hasn’t considered retiring despite having two years left on his contract with the Lakers.
“He’s looking at, ‘What am I going to do when I’m 50?’ But no, he’s going to try and do everything he can to come back,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “Whether he can get over this, we’ll see. We think he can. We hope he can. But there’s no talk of him sitting over there eating bon bons the rest of the way.”
A source close to Nash familiar with his thought process said talk about Nash retiring remains “premature.” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told this newspaper last week that Nash offered no indication he’d retire and that they had no plans to make any roster moves because of his absence. But speculation surrounding Nash’s sentiments increased after NBA veteran writer Peter Vecsey tweeted, I’m hearing Nash’s pain is forcing him 2 seriously consider calling it a career.”
Instead, D’Antoni said Nash has spent recent days working out with his personal trainer, Rick Celebrini. Nash has also spent his rehab with Kobe Bryant.
“Steve and I have been extremely close through this process,” Bryant said. “We’re just talking, and particularly the last few games, we’ve been talking and watching the game and talking about the game and other things. I understand the frustration that comes along with that.”
Does Bryant believe Nash will overcome these injuries?
“Sure. That’s part of our job to pick each other up and to put him in positions where he can be extremely efficient and extremely successful,” Bryant said. “It’s about us covering for each other in that sense.”
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